Title: False Memory (False Memory, #1)
Author: Dan Krokos
Rating: 4 Stars
This past year has seen a re-emergence, not only in the fantasy genre, but also in the science-fiction genre concerning YA. While I'd need about a dozen hands to count all the new fantasy and sci-fi books published this year, I only need one to count all the good ones. False Memory, I am glad to say, joins the ranks of good fiction and just may be the only sci-fi novel I ever fall in love with this year. This is the book I wanted Origin and Eve and Adam to be - an fast-paced novel filled with action, plot twists, world-building and just the right amount of romance - not the romance-heavy and dull storyline I actually found within the pages of those two novels. Thus, it is with great excitement and truly bated breath that I
When Miranda North wakes up in a mall, she has no idea who she is. Yet, when she unknowingly spreads waves of panic and destruction throughout the building, she is forced to turn to Peter, a teenager who not only claims he's her friend, but who also claims he can help her. In reality, Miranda - and Peter too - are products of genetic experimentation and as such, their bodies are quicker, lighter, and stronger than those of the average human. Furthermore, they can use their minds to spread fear and inflict pain on others. The catch behind these supernatural abilities? Memory loss. Unless the Roses, people like Miranda who are called such because of the rose-scent they emit when they put their powers to use, don't take daily shots, they'll begin to lose their memory. So now, the only question is who tampered with Miranda's memories - and why?
Even from the first page, False Memory is a fast-paced adventure that simply sucks you in. Miranda, for all her memory loss, is a kick-ass protagonist who we begin to understand just as she begins to re-learn herself. Krokos takes advantage of Miranda's loss of memory, not only to develop her into a three-dimensional character, but also to explore some of the more subtle nuances of memory and its inner workings. It is evident that he has done his research as False Memory goes into the necessary details behind the genetic mutations that Miranda possesses and explains it all in a concise and easy-to-understand method. Furthermore, the plot of this novel goes beyond Miranda's memory loss to tackle on scientific/corporate politics in an absolutely brilliant manner. It's a story that will keep you frantically flipping the pages until you've reached the end and even then, you won't want to stop.
In addition to Miranda, Peter was an incredible character, not to mention a sweet romantic interest. While we do have a hint of a love triangle in this novel as Miranda struggles between her mixed memories of ex-boyfriend Noah and current attraction towards Peter, it wasn't something that bothered me at all as it took a backseat to the more action-filled plot, which was quite refreshing. Furthermore, more than just the romance, I found that the friendships between Miranda, Peter, Noah, and Olive, four Roses who had grown up together, to be heart-warming. It was easy to feel both the strong bonds of friendship and the pangs of loneliness as Miranda battled to fit in once again with a group of people she couldn't recall but who already knew - and shared memories with - her.
Yet, what really made this novel amazing was a huge plot twist at the end of this book which just about blew my mind! It's worth reading this book just for that incredible revelation and I was beyond impressed by the subtle hints and nuanced writing style that graced this story. While False Memory isn't a perfect novel and lacks some more of the connection I felt needed to be present with some of the secondary characters, it is a remarkable novel overall. I am eagerly waiting for the sequel and cannot wait to see what Krokos has in store for readers next. Believe me, this is one author you want to watch out for.